Judge Denies Greg And Travis McMichael Bond In Ahmaud Arbery Murder Case After 2‑Day Hearing

By Zack Linly

Greg and Travis McMichael, two of three men involved in the Feb. 23 pur­suit and shoot­ing death of Ahmaud Arbery near Brunswick in Glynn County, Ga., tried to get released on bond. But Friday, after two days of hear­ings, a judge denied their request, accord­ing to the New York Times.

During a Thursday hear­ing, defense attor­neys for the McMichaels argued that these men are cit­i­zens who serve their com­mu­ni­ty and not racist lynch­ers of a Black man who was out jog­ging in their neighborhood.

Fox 40 reports that the McMichaels’ plea for free­dom was heard by Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley. Aside from bond, their lawyers request­ed that Judge Walmsley reject two of the counts against them, includ­ing mal­ice murder.

From Fox 40:

Travis McMichael’s attor­neys, Robert Rubin and Jason Sheffield, wrote in court doc­u­ments request­ing bond that he lives with his par­ents, has a 3‑year-old son and doesn’t have a pass­port. They cit­ed his past ser­vice as a U.S. Coast Guard machine tech­ni­cian as proof of his character.

Gregory McMichael, 64, is a retired inves­ti­ga­tor for the Brunswick Judicial Circuit dis­trict attorney’s office and a for­mer Glynn County police offi­cer. His lawyers said in a legal fil­ing that they plan to present evi­dence in court to show why he should be freed on bond.

The McMichaels’ attor­neys are also ask­ing the judge to reject the indictment’s mal­ice mur­der charge, say­ing it was writ­ten in a way that improp­er­ly “charges two crimes in one count.” They made a sim­i­lar argu­ment for toss­ing out a charge of crim­i­nal attempt to com­mit false imprisonment.

According to WSB-TV Atlanta, the third defen­dant in the case,was pre­vi­ous­ly denied bond but will also appear­ing before a judge to try again.

The McMichaels, as well as a third man, William Bryan, are charged with mul­ti­ple felonies includ­ing mur­der after they chased Arbery down, repeat­ed­ly blocked him from run­ning out of the sub­di­vi­sion and pos­si­bly hit him with one of the trucks pur­su­ing him before Travis shot with a shot­gun, accord­ing to the Georgia Bureau of Investigations which took over the case in May.

I believe Mr. Arbery was being pur­sued, and he ran till he couldn’t run any­more, and it was turn his back to a man with a shot­gun or fight with his bare hands against the man with the shot­gun,” GBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Richard Dial said in June, CNN reports. “He chose to fight. I believe Mr. Arbery’s deci­sion was to just try to get away, and when he felt like he could not escape he chose to fight.

According to the Daily News, ear­ly dur­ing the hear­ing, Walmsley denied a motion by defense attor­neys to block pros­e­cu­tors from using racist Facebook posts shared between the defen­dants and oth­ers as evi­dence that the McMichaels should not be grant­ed bond.

In fact, while pros­e­cu­tor Jesse Evans was ques­tion­ing friends and fam­i­ly of Travis—all of whom appear to believe he’s a won­der­ful man and not a mur­der­ous racist — one friend, Zachary Langford, was asked about a text he received from Travis in November 2019 in which they dis­cussed Travis “shoot­ing a crack­head coon with gold teeth.” Langford — I shit you not — claimed Travis was “refer­ring to a rac­coon.” The wit­ness admit­ted that he respond­ed say­ing the “rac­coon” need­ed Newport cigarettes.

From the Associated Press:

Defense attor­neys for both McMichaels have denied any racist motives in the shoot­ing. Right after the Feb. 23 shoot­ing, Gregory McMichael told police that he and his son armed them­selves and got in a pick­up truck to pur­sue Arbery because they sus­pect­ed he was a burglar.

These men are proud of what they have done,” Arbery’s moth­er, Wanda Cooper-Jones, told the judge as she asked him to deny them bond. “They want to go home because they think in their self­ish minds that they are the good guys.”

Prosecutors say Arbery was mere­ly jog­ging when the McMichaels pur­sued him. Their defense attor­neys insist­ed in court Thursday that’s not true.

We have sub­stan­tial evi­dence that, on the day in ques­tion, Mr. Arbery was not a jog­ger,” said Robert Rubin, one of Travis McMichael’s attor­neys. “He was there for nefar­i­ous purposes.”

Rubin gave no evi­dence in court that Arbery was doing any­thing wrong the day he was shot.

Walmsley decid­ed to adjourn court Thursday evening with­out mak­ing a rul­ing on bond for the defen­dants because there was still more evi­dence to be pre­sent­ed, AP reports.

On day two of the hear­ing, which began Friday morn­ing, Walmsley denied the McMichaels bond. NPR reports that the racist texts sent by Travis as well as Langford’s lame-ass expla­na­tion of them might have been a fac­tor in the denial of bond. As far as Greg McMichael goes, Walmsley appeared to believe he may have used his past career in law enforce­ment to influ­ence the case.

From NPR:

In deny­ing bond, Walmsley cit­ed con­cern with the con­sis­ten­cy of the tes­ti­mo­ny among the dif­fer­ent wit­ness­es who spoke for Travis McMichael. He also specif­i­cal­ly cit­ed con­cern with one witness’s expla­na­tion for an alle­ga­tion of bias.

Though Walmsley did not elab­o­rate, on Thursday pros­e­cu­tors also read aloud racist mes­sages that McMichael exchanged with one of the wit­ness­es, Zachary Langford. In one mes­sage, McMichael used a slur for Black people.

After review­ing the mes­sages, Langford tes­ti­fied that McMichael “was refer­ring to a rac­coon, I believe.”
This sto­ry first appeared in the (https://​www​.the​root​.com